So this WSJ article: http://jackoswald.posterous.com/wsj-decoding-an-ancient-therapy-acupuncture is overall a good piece. But the critics mentioned were in the grip of poor reasoning, it seems to me. First, what was their evidence that the placebo effect of acupuncture was “very strong”? A study I cited in a post below shows the reverse. Second, because any needle insertion has certain beneficial non-specific effects, studies that include a sham protocol that involves insertion will underestimate the benefits of the real acupuncture. So (in addition to the methodological problems I described in previous posts) the evidence for acupuncture is stronger than what is commonly asserted. I’m thinking the critics either just aren’t aware of all the available research, or selectively focus on only a few.

But the article overall was quite interesting, I thought.